Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 33 Number 1: 63-66 - January 1971

A publication of the National Speleological Society

The Classification of Cavernicoles
Elery Hamilton-Smith


A seven-category system for the classification of cavernicoles is proposed, primarily on the basis of Australian experience.

Parasites are separated from the Schiner-Racovitza categories to form a separate category; it is suggested in line with some other workers that the term trogloxene should not be used for accidental species; threshold species not found within the dark zone are also separated, but the complexity of the threshold fauna is emphasized.

The dark zone fauna is thus separated into four categories: trogloxenes and troglobites as in the Schiner-Racovitza system, with troglophiles divided into two levels, being those species also occurring the epigean environment (first level) and those confined to caves (second level).

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